Saturday, December 01, 2018

Getting Old Sucks

I wrote this section two weeks ago. I'm leaving it here because, well, it's true. But if you scroll down a bit, you'll see a little different perspective.

Getting Old Sucks, a rant.

I know, I know. Everyone's first reaction is, "the alternative sucks worse". I get that.

But it's true. You work all your life, then you retire and you want to do all those things you've been putting off. But... why do you think the word "retired" has the word "tired" in it. My get-up-and-go has got up and went.

Yesterday I fixed a loose towel hook on the back of the bathroom door. That was yesterday.

Today I did more. I brought in some firewood. I started a fire. I watched the mechanic fix the snowblower (I couldn't do it. That wasn't an 'age' thing, it was an 'I'm a numbnutz mechanic' thing). But then he started it by pulling the 'thingie' once. Later I tried and I had to plug in the electric start to get it going because I don't have the strength to pull the cord hard and fast enough.

I know I'm bitching. But back when, I used to work out and was proud that I built a body with a 56" chest and a 36" waist and I bench pressed 315 lbs and funny enough, I only weighed about 20 lbs less than I do now. I'm not going to say the numbers now, because it's embarrassing  but when I bought bird seed today (oh, yeah: I did that too. And filled the feeders!) I had to have them sell me half a bag because I couldn't lift the 50 lb bag. A couple of weeks ago, I couldn't pick up a bundle of shingles.

Part of it's due to arthritis. My hands cramp up. So do my legs, my abs, my side, my right shoulder... my knees are sore. So are my hips. They wake me up at night. 4 am, I get up, wander around the house for an hour then maybe get back to sleep.

My father used to say, "Everything hurts. Except the stuff that doesn't work anymore".

"Do you want some cheese with that whine"?

I heard about a couple more people who have dementia. Maybe they're lucky, they don't know what's happening.

I haven't shot a picture in 2 weeks, or even edited one. That stops now. Back to work. Right after my nap. I'm not ready yet, dammit.


Now to the main subject of this blog.

Does this Grandson make me look fat?
And short. And old.
Are we so sure that Genetics is a real thing?

That's what happens when you have a 6'2" slim grandson! All of the above... 

This blog post is not about me. It's about my grandson, Ryan Davenport.
That would be 2nd Lieutenant Ryan Davenport, Royal Canadian Air Force.

I had the privilege of accompanying my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to attend Ryan's graduation ceremony at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School located at the Saint-Jean Garrison in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. He completed the Basic Military Officer Qualification course for Regular Force Officers and he now holds the rank of 2nd Lt. in the RCAF.

Lori and Rich, Kelly and Ryan, an iPhone shot the day before graduation.  

Rich shot this picture of Ryan with me and my daughter, Lori, so 3 generations! I stripped out the background and replaced it with this one.  Oh, and a little photoshop 'liquify' on my shape, because yes, this grandson makes me look fat!

Family shot.  Lori and Ryan and Kelly and Richard

It was interesting that Ryan had bulked up, building his fitness level and endurance before the course. We were shocked to see how much muscle mass he lost over the course of these months. He puts it down to perennial sleep deprivation and the fact that almost all of the PT was cardio-based, favouring endurance over strength. He says he can't wait to get back on the ice playing hockey or in a gym pushing weights.

As I write this, he is now posted to his permanent base but he'll only be there for a month or so before he leaves for his Phase 1 flight training. All things being equal, in a few months he'll be a qualified military pilot, then moving on to additional training leading to his goal of flying jet fighters. Soon, he'll get to fly the Harvard II, an 1100 hp turboprop trainer (for those familiar with the original ones, this isn't your grandfather's Harvard! Fully aerobatic, capable of pulling 7G's and topping out at almost 600 kph... be sure to click "more photos" on the linked page). From there he moves to jets: I heard that it's possible he'll do his jet training in T-38 Talons in the US instead of the CT-155 Hawk in Canada because he might be too tall to fit in the Hawk cockpit! These are both supersonic jet trainers! By the way, I know more but won't post locations or other details here.

The graduation ceremony was held in a cavernous building with terrible lighting for photography. An hour and a half or more of marching drills and mostly standing at attention or parade rest (under arms, with the C7 rifle). My feet hurt just watching them.

Ryan was at the far right end of his platoon, likely because of his height. The group behind them were non-commissioned recruits who go through similar basic physical training. 

All three branches of service (Army, Navy, Air Force) trained together here, hence the different uniforms. They must practice that facial expression.

Personal observation: I have to admit that because Ryan is just a kid to me, at the beginning I had the feeling that this was not serious. By the end, I realized these people are not 'playing soldier'. This isn't summer camp.

Some of the instructors 

I know that the job of a grandparent is to spoil the grandkids rotten. Now I also realize that the grandkids' rĂ´le is to make their grandparents incredibly proud.

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